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How to Fight Seasonal Flu

Talk of the H1N1 vaccine has been on people's minds lately, but it's also time to get vaccinated with the regular flu vaccine, which has recently been released. The vaccine is now available in pharmacies, hospitals and doctor's offices.

CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said it's very important for people to get the flu shot because the seasonal flu can be serious, and kills upwards of 36,000 Americans a year. She said around 90 percent of those fatalities occur among older people.

Ashton added some states, such as New York, are making the flu shot mandatory for health care workers for the seasonal flu and the H1N1 vaccine. The H1N1 vaccine is scheduled for release in mid- to late October.

"We are the vectors of spread of this virus," she said, referring to why health care workers need the vaccination. "In addition, you don't want your doctor, himself or herself, to be sick."

That's why Ashton received her seasonal flu shot live on "The Early Show" Thursday.

As Ashton was vaccinated, she explained the vaccine does not contain live virus as some people believe, so you cannot get the flu from receiving the flu shot. Also, the flu shot takes up to two weeks to become effective.

Next Tuesday, Sept. 22 on "The Early Show plaza, CVS/pharmacy will be offering free seasonal flu shots. Learn how you can get a free flu shot.

For more information on the seasonal flu, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.

And for more with Ashton - and to see how she dealt with getting her seasonal flu shot live on "The Early Show" - click on the video below.


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